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Forget Frozen – All Your Four Year Old Wants This Christmas Is A Smartphone

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Peer pressure leading to parents getting expensive phone contracts even earlier, TigerMobiles.com survey finds

Mobile phones will take another step towards dominance of the home this Christmas as children as young as four pester their parents for a smartphone, and parents give in to their demands, research has found.

A survey by TigerMobiles.com of 3,150 parents with children aged between four and 12 years old found over half (53 percent) had had their children ask for a mobile phone this Christmas, alongside other high-tech items like tablets (59 percent) and games consoles (38 percent).

The iPhone 5S was the most asked-for smartphone, being included on 36 percent of lists, followed by the iPhone 4S (23 percent), Samsung Galaxy S4 (14 percent) and the Moto G (11 percent).

Christmas shopping onlineIn demand

Worryingly for their bank balances, the study found that 95 percent of parents were buying their children full blown smartphones as opposed to more basic feature phone models without apps or full internet access.

The majority of parents were also electing to purchase a phone on contract, as opposed to a Pay As You Go device, with 72 percent saying they would do so. The average spend for a contract device was around £25 per month, totalling £300 per year, but 48 percent of parents said they believed contract phones offered better deals, with 39 percent revealing that a contract helped make the phone more affordable

“The world has gone mobile so it’s no real surprise that young children are getting their hands on a smartphone this Christmas,” said TigerMobile.com’s head of customer insight Brandon Ackroyd.

“I had to pester my parents for months before they got me a phone, now it seems children don’t even have to ask; they’re just given one because all their friends have one.”

One area of concern for Mr. Ackroyd was the money parents are planning to spend on handsets.

“We are seeing more and more parents splash the cash on high end smartphones when they really don’t need to. Even the hardcore smartphone user rarely uses an iPhone to its full potential so for a child at primary school age it is complete overkill.”

Ackroyd added “I’d always point parents in the direction of cheaper handsets and also go for PAYG over a pay monthly deal. It means parents are not taking on credit just to satisfy their children during the festive season and they’re also a good way of teaching children financial control and budgeting from a young age.”

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